REYNOLDS i.i: iORlCAL
ALLEN COUNTY PUBLIC LIBRARY
3 1833 01084 6936
the Internet Archive
YEAR BOOK OF THE
OLD SEHLERS' ASSOCIATION
JOHNSON COUNTY, IOWA
OFFICEKS OF JOHNSON COUNTY OLD
President Isaac B. Lee
Vice-President Jacob George
Vice-President John McCollister
Secretary J oseph Walker
Treasurer ^ W. J. Weeber
Editor of Annual O. A. Byington
Necrologist Euth Osborne
On Grounds — Jacob Metzger, W. E. C. Foster
On Program — Isaac B. Lee, O. A. Byington
On Music — A. C. Howell, Mrs. L. G. Lawyer, W. J. Weebe
ANNUAL MEETING OF OLD SETTLERS'
The annual meeting of the Old Settlers' Association of
Johnson County was held at the City Park in Iowa City
on Thursday, September 5, 1922.
Beautiful weather greeted the Old Settlers and a large
crowd gathered for the meeting. Many came with well
filled baskets in the forenoon and enjoyed a picnic dinner
in the shade of the trees, there being many family gath-
After dinner the crowd gathered before the speaker's
ftff^nrl nnr! lisfpTied to a verv interesting address by Hon.
Edgar R. Harlan, the Curator of the State Historical De-
partment of Iowa.
An old fashioned fiddle band entertained the gathering
with many old time familiar tunes to the enjoyment of all
The following officers of the Association were elected
for the ensuing year :
President Isaac B. Lee
Vice-President Jacob George
Vice-President John McCollister
Secretary Joseph Walker
Treasurer W. J. Weeber
Necrologist Ruth Osborne
Editor of Annual 0. A. Byington
THE LOCATION OF THE FIRST COUNTY SEAT OF
JOHNSON COUNTY, AND SOME EAELY
JOHNSON COUNTY HISTORY
In the Annual of 1922, ^ve printed some facts relative to
the location of the Territorial Capital at Iowa City, and
included some early history of Iowa City.
The location of the First County Seat of Johnson County
is also a matter of interest to old settlers and we will give
in this article briefly some of the incidents connected with
the location of our first County Seat.
There are twelve counties in the United States named
Johnson'', all being named in honor of Richard M. John-
son, Vice-Presiaent of the United States during the Van
Buren administration, and the man history credits with
having killed the war-like Indian chief, Tecumseh.
Johnson County was created by an act of the territorial
legislature approved on December 31, 1837, the act creating
fourteen counties in the eastern portion of the present State
Sec. 16 of the act provided that Johnson County for tem-
porary purposes should be attached to the County of Cedar.
The first administrative act remaining of record was an
order dated May 28, 1838, signed by the Sheriff of Cedar
County, directing S. C. Trowbridge to take the census or
enumeration of the inhabitants of the new County of John-
son, then in the Territory of Wisconsin.
. The following is the record of oath taken by him in 1838 :
**You solumnly sware, that you will support the Consti-
tution of the United States and the teritory of Iowa, and
that you will well and truely perform the duties of assessor
in and for the County of Johnson, and territory afforsaid,
to the best of your Jcnowleg. So help you God.
Johnson County Old Settlers* Association 5
The bold and original method of spelling will be noted.
day of , 1839, Luke Douglas, Clerk.''
**The above oath was legale administered by me this
The County Seat Contest Between Napoleon and Osceola
In 1837-38, the contest for the location of a County Seat
arose, and as is usually the case the County Seats proposed
were for some time on paper.
The one called Napoleon, and being the first actual Coun-
ty Seat of Johnson County, was located on Sec. 22, in the
present To'vvnship of East Lucas, on the farm now owned
and occupied by James McCollister. A log house, designed
for a Court House, was erected, as well as one other small
The rival County Seat town was called Osceola, but it
apparently never had any definite location. The town plat
of Osceola appeared on paper showing churches, colleges,
parks and a Court House. This plat was prepared and
brought here by Judge Pleasant Harris. There was in-
tense rivalry between the partisans of these two so-called
towns. Some partisan of the paper town of Osceola, hav-
ing written some doggerel poetry described as an Ode to
Osceola, an advocate of the famous town of Napoleon,
which was also at that time on paper, produced the follow-
Vain, feeble worm ! presumptuous boy !
How vain conceit doth lift thee up !
Ere long shall trouble mar thy joy,
For bitter sorrow thou shalt sup.
What hast thou done whereof to boast?
What deeds of bravery or of skill?
Did e'er thy voice conmaand a host,
And with dread fear creation fill?
Johnson County Old Settlers* Association
Did not all Europe bow to me,
And tremble when I gave command?
Can now a feeble worm like thee
Presume my fury to withstand?
I'll rise once more with dreadful might
And scatter devastation round;
I'll cast thee from thy giddy height
And lay thee level with the ground.
Thy boasted church and stately tower,
And monument with all its fame.
Shall fall before my potent power,
Nor dare to speak thy plebeian name.
My true-born sons shall till the soil
On which thy boasted city stands,
While peace and plenty on them smiles
In the protection of my hands.
Judge Harris and his family brought from Indiana the
plat of their proposed County Seat and looked about for a
proper location. It was thought that the river bank just
above the Wapashasheik Indian village was a favorable
site, but the Indian title did not expire until October 31,
John Gilbert, the Indian trader, was the leader for the
rival County Seat. Gilbert had a trading house just over
the line on the Indian land, a privilege obtained by Gilbert
by furnishing certain barrels of whiskey to the Indians.
Judge Harris, unable to obtain any concession from the
Indians, built a claim cabin on the river bank just above the
Indian village. They awaited the time when they could
take legal possession of the land on which it stood for the
Johnson County Old Settlers* Association 7
purpose of establishing a County Seat. This cabin is under-
stood to have been erected about a mile southwest of the
present house of James McCollister on the bank of the
river, and a short distance south of the town-site of Na-
In the meantime, in order to circumvent the Osceola plan
John Gilbert induced John Morford to come from Bloom-
ington (now Muscatine) and locate upon the claim of the
Napoleon town site. This was done with the consent of the
Poweshiek Indians, who were on very friendly terms with
Gilbert. Morford did not desire to enter into any County
Seat contest, so he traded his claim to Philip Clark (the
first white settler in Johnson County) for his farm in
Pleasant Valley Township. Philip Clark, the then owner
01 the town site eiaiin, iiiduced his brother-in-law, Peter
Smith, to live in the townsite claim cabin, to hold possession.
A surveyor from Muscatine County laid off an elaborate
townsite plat at Napoleon, and thus there were two County
Seats of Johnson County on paper, but neither had any
It was necessary to get some action from the territorial
legislature, and in June, 1838, Col. S. C. Trowbridge mount-
ed a horse and rode to Burlington, the special session of the
legislature meeting there on June 11th. It will be noted
that at the previous session the rival promoters of the paper
towns of Napoleon and Osceola had been unable to secure
any action on their location. Trowbridge had attended the
previous session of the legislature and had acquired con-
siderable acquaintance w^ith its members. He was therefore
selected as the most eligible man to lobby through the
County Seat location proposition.
That his selection was justified appears from the fact
that the journal of the second day of the session shows that
Mr. Foley, the member from Dubuque County, presented a
8 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
petition asking that the Seat of Justice of Johnson County
be established at the town of Napoleon. The petition was
referred to a select committee, which reported a bill on the
14th of June, and the bill was read for the first time. The
journal of June 18th shows that the bill was read a second
time and ordered to be committed to the committee of the
whole house. Upon consideration in committee of the whole,
the bill was read a third time and j)assed (bv the Council)
and messaged to the House of Representatives for concur-
On June 20th, the House of Representatives concurred in
the bill, and on June 22nd, it was signed by the President of
the Council, and the next day it had received the approval
of the Governor.
Thus, the lirst County Seat of Johnson County was le-
gally established at Napoleon.
The establishment of the Territorial Capital at Iowa City,
in 1839, at a point less than two miles from the Napoleon
town plat necessarily sealed the fate of the town of Napo-
leon. The removal of the County Seat was authorized by
the Legislature in **An act to relocate the Seat of Justice
in Johnson County" which was approved December 31,
1839. This act recites: ^^That the Board of County Com-
missioners in the County of Johnson, are hereby authorized
to relocate and establish the Seat of Justice for the County
of Johnson, being first sworn by any Judge or Justice of
the Peace thereof, faithfully and impartially to relocate and
establish the Seat of Justice of said County, taking into
consideration the future as well as the present population
of said County '\
The County Board was required to take this action within
90 days after their next regular meeting. It was provided
that when the Board had so done and their acts were made
of record: '^The place selected shall be the seat of justice
Johnson Cotinty Old Settlers' Association 9
for said County." The following is the record of the Board
meeting held on January 22, 1840: '^On motion of Henry
Felkner, Esq., the Board of Commissioners repaired to
view the several adjoining quarter sections of land to the
Seat of Government, and upon examination, the commis-
sioners decided upon the northwest quarter section of sec-
tion 15, in T\^'p. 79, North, Eange 6, West of the 5th P. M.
for the Seat of Justice for said County.
Ordered by the Board of Commissioners that Philip
Clark be authorized to repair to Dubuque, to enter if pos-
sible the aforesaid quarter section of land for County pur-
Philip Clark went to Dubuque and secured the preemp-
tion of the land. The present Court House Square is located
on tnis lana, ana tiie quarter section comprises about the
southwest one-fourth of the City of Iowa City.
The records show that Philip Clark was allowed $20.00
for his trip to Dubuque and an additional $16.00 for his
expenses on the trip. It would appear that the pioneer
leaders were inexpensive officials in the performance of very
important public duties.
On November 19, 1840, the following record appears:
**It is ordered by the Board that the Northwest Quarter of
Sec. fifteen be laid out into blocks and lots, as foUows:
Twenty-four Blocks to be surveyed off the north side at
present, each block to be 320 feet square, including alleys,
and north and south streets to correspond with the streets
which run north and sooth in Iowa City; and the streets
running east and west to be 80 feet wide, each block to be
divided into 8 lots, and alley to be 20 feet wide.''
The sale of lots in the County Seat of Johnson County
was ordered to take place on Alay 24, 1841, and continued
from day to day at the discretion of the commissioners.
The report of the first sale of lots was made on October 9,
10 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
1841, and shows that in notes and cash the lots were sold for
It will be observed that the permanent County Seat of
Johnson County was practically laid out as an addition to
the Territorial Capital, Iowa City. It was in reality a re-
moval of the original County Seat from Napoleon to the
City of Iowa City.
From the foregoing record of the location of the first
County Seat in Johnson County, it will be observed that the
three men responsible for its location and who pulled the
wires to secure the same, were Jolm Gilbert, S. C. Trow-
bridge and Philip Clark.
John Gilbert was an Indian trader and had a log trading
house located in the northwest corner of the present Town-
ship of Pieasani V aney. it was a double log house covered
with one roof with an area space between the two ends.
The house stood on the east side of the present public high-
way running through the western part of Pleasant Valley
Township, south of the bridge in the extreme northwest
corner of the to\vnship. This building remained for many
years and was burned and completely destroyed in an acci-
dental fire about 30 years ago.
Immediately after the location of the County Seat, at
Napoleon, John Gilbert received a commission as post-
master, but died the next day following its receipt. He was
buried on his claim, but many years afterwards his body
was removed and buried in the cemetery in Iowa City, but
Ms grave is unmarked and unknown. As a trader with the
Indians, he was very popular and seemed to possess their
unlimited confidence. On the occasion of his funeral, there
was a large gathering of the Indian tribes, who showed
every evidence of deep regard and of sorrow at his passing.
We quote the follow^ing from the Bistort/ of Johnson
County published in 1912: **John Gilbert will ever remain
Johnson County Old Settlers* Association 11
as tlie Indian trader, and the friend of both the red and the
white man in the early history of the county.
During the excitement pending the location of the cap-
ital of the territory, when the minds of the settlers about
Napoleon were all in doubt and uncertainty, the man who
had always been ready to advise and labor, sickened, and the
care of all the settlement was now to make him well. It was
not so ordered, for in spite of all their efforts he died in the
last days of March, 1838. Just before his passing a com-
mission had arrived making him postmaster of Napoleon.
coffin of walnut was prepared by his friends and with
saddened hearts both the natives and the comrades from the
states paid him the last tribute as they laid him. away in the
little garden he had fenced near the trading house.
<<"\T/-» -nrn-r^Q woto spoken at this iutermeut, but the black-
ened faces of the Indians were mute expressions of the sor-
row they felt for the loss of the man who, they said, was
John Gilbert was a native of New York. He began life
among the Indians in Canada, as a fur trader, and continued
the practice until his knowledge of the Indians became very
'*Many years after his death his remains were removed to
the Iowa City cemetery, but the place of his grave is not
now kno^vn to any one."
The second dominant figure in the location of the first
county seat of Johnson County, and to whose finesse and
efforts success was most largely attributable. Col. Samuel
C. Trowbridge, lived in this community to an extreme old
age, passing away in the year 1888. He is well remembered
by many now living.
He was always greatly interested in matters historical,
and serv^ed as curator of the State Historical Society for
12 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
He was the first assessor and the first sheriff of this
county, and was the fourth postmaster of Iowa City.
He was sergeant-at-arms of the Constitutional Conven-
tion of 1857, which framed the present constitution of Iowa.
The third mepaber of the trio who secured the location of
the county seat at Napoleon, Philip Clark, was the first per-
manent white settler in Johnson County, and lived in the
county until his death in 1891. He walked from Indiana to
this county in 1836, and, locating a tract of ground, returned
in May, 1837, and turned the first furrow that was ever
plowed by a w^hite man in Johnson County.
The Febst Court Proceedings in Johnson County
AVe quote from the pen of the late T. S. Parvin a descrip-
tion of the first session of court held in this county :
**May 13th, 1839, as district attorney of the middle dis-
trict, which included Jolmson County, we went to the town
of Napoleon, a single house, the trading post of Phelps,
managed by Gilbert, and held the first court, Joseph Wil-
liams, the judge of the district, being a resident of Musca-
tine. The latter appointed Luke Douglass clerk, and S. C.
Trowbridge was the sheriff.
'*He held court in the old trading house, having no win-
dow, and it kept the sheriff and his deputy busy keeping the
doorway clear so as to admit sufficient light to dispense
Samuel H. McCrory was the first foreman of the grand
jury who with all of his associates so far as we know, pre-
ceded our friend, the sheriff, to the gateway of the court.
petit jury was also empaneled, and we recollect that
Philip Clark, the first settler of Johnson County, was one of.
When the grand jury had been sworn and charged, they
were ordered to retire in charge of the bailiif , but where to
Johnson County Old Settlers' Association 13
go was the question, as there was no house to go to. We
followed as in duty bound, and seeing a sawlog in the prai-
rie nearby, hauled there the previous winter, we suggested
that as a fit land mark, and mounting it made our first ad-
dress to the first grand jury of Johnson County.''
A Picture of Pioneer Johnson County
**It is not possible to picture all the individual under-
takings of the first settlers ; a few will be typical of all the
**They would tell much the same story if called into coun-
cil in the present days : a log house of one room, often filled
to overflowing to accommodate the new arrivals ; the plain-
est of garments, home-spun, home-made, and food of little
**They traveled long distances to secure supplies, the ox-
team making the trip anything but swift.
**The first products of the soil had to be carried to a dis-
tant market by any conveyance available, and the receipt of
pay was in goods only, no cash being otf ered.
Certain kinds of goods at times could be secured by
barter, cash in trade being demanded by the merchants for
some supplies which the settler must have or he must do
without them until cash was in hand. He crossed the track-
less prairies and forded the bridgeless streams, taking all
risks of narrow escapes in order to keep his family from
extreme want, and to make a way for the development of the
real property to which he hoped to gain a perfect title when
the proper time should arrive.
*^His citizenship was secure in the minds of all his right-
eous neighbors and he only had to demand his just rights in
order to get them before a jury of his peers.
** There may have been times when he felt insecure in re-
gard to his property because of the periods of outlawry, but
14 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
there have been events in ^vhich he took part to rid the coun-
ty of lawless and reckless characters who would not fear the
civil law because it could not be made effective in his case.
If the full histor}^ of the individual could be told he would
not in all cases feel that he was innocent of any transgres-
sion, although he acted at the time up to his knowledge of
what he thought to be the best thing to do under the circum-
stances. The stories of this period are not all entertaining,
even if exciting, and they need to be told briefly enough to
save the feelings of any survivor, and yet fully enough to
tell the truth. ^'
All the arrivals had the same experiences. . . . They
would tell practically the same story of the trip they spent
weeks in making. They brought stock, driving the cattle
along with the train of wagons, and leisurely making the
journey with the intention of remaining when they finally
reached their destination.
**It may have been that some of the 'men folks' had come
on in advance and made ready a log cabin, or it may have
been, which is more likely, that some neighbor in the East
had settled in this community and the family would take in
one more until a cabin could be thrown together from the
rough logs of the timber, which then was plentiful enough
for such purposes.
**The corn was shared, the shelter divided, and no one
thought of pay for such small services. The mill, if one was
at hand, was the common property of all.
**A11 the world, as far as it then appeared, to select from
and not a soul to hinder; all the natural resources of the
unbroken land, the riches of fields as yet untouched; the
promises of riches unstinted, if he but used the resources at
To fij: upon some line of attack in his new field of activ-
ity, the pioneer spent much time in the consideration of the
Johnson Comity Old Settlers* Association 15
problem confronting him, and laid his plans in advance. He
came prepared to make improvements immediately on the
soil that it might at the earliest moment produce something
to feed his family. If he came in the fall of the year, he must
expect to buy, borrow, or secure by barter something to
keep him until spring. It was often possible to find the
supply of game sufficient to furnish the meat for the winter,
yet this was not a safe proposition, for in many instances
the winter was too severe to find game, and some of those
first settlers tell to-day that they had no means of securing
the abundant supply that could have been had otherwise.
Since that distant day the wonderful richness of the
prairie land in its game products has become a word only.
**In the language of one of Iowa's gifted writers, *the
' cref'TiiTiP:- on of civilisation during the last seventy years has
wrought many marvelous changes. The man with the buck-
skin suit, the long rifle, the double barreled shot gun, with
the sheath knife and the hand axe dangling at his belt, silent
during the busy hours, except when spoken to, yet garrulous
enough when over an evening pipe lighted at the camp fire,
has passed av^^ay from the middle West.' . . . The
steady and unwavering attitude of the pioneer is the attrac-
tion that appeals to us ; that is what excites our admiration,
and secures for him our profound respect, while we cannot
attempt to solve some of his perplexing riddles of an eco-
nomic nature, and his willingness to plant for those who now
THE OLD CAPITOL
There is perhaps no building in the State of Iowa that
possesses so much of historical interest as the Old Capitol
structure on the University campus.
The 37th General Assembly, recognizing the danger of
16 Johnson County Old Settlers^ Association
its disintegration and decay, appropriated the sum of
$50,000 to adequately fireproof the building for preser-
It vras found that this sum was insufficient to properly
accomplish the purpose and the 40th General Assembly
added an additional appropriation of $50,000.
The work has now been largely finished and the people
of Iowa have the assurance that their old first capitol build-
ing will be preserved to the future generations.
There has been no change in the structure or design of
the building, either inside or outside.
The west portico, which through all these years was left
uncompleted, has been added. The building throughout has
been made thoroughly fireproof and modern.
The dome has been beautifully gilded and the building
now presents a fine appearance.
The people of Johnson County should be especially proud
of the location of the Old Capitol within the borders of our
With the flight of years it will be to all lowans an object
of increased interest and affection. One hundred years
hence this building will be to the people of this state what
the Bunker Hill monument is to the people of the United
It will be the Mecca to which thousands of loyal lowans
will annuaUy come, and the interest and affection will in-
crease with the years.
BUILDERS OF THE OLD CAPITOL
It is indeed marvelous that men still live who helped
fashion and build the Old Capitol building.
M. A. B. Seydel, who is still living in Iowa City, was a
Johnson County Old Settlers' Association 17
workman on this building. We are informed that he assist-
ed in fashioning the circular columns in the front portico.
M. A. Foster, a pioneer carpenter of Iowa City, recently
passed away and we append the notice of his death, ap-
pearing in the Press-Citizen:
Another of the noble builders of a noble institution —
the Old Capitol of Iowa — is dead.
Marcus Aurelius Foster, a pioneer carpenter of Iowa
City, who with Mr. M. A. Seydel participated in the con-
struction of the statehouse that is now a keystone on the
campus, passed away Wednesday, August 1st, in Colorado
He was one of the men who hewed out the very pillars
that now hold place in the classic foreground of the Old
Capitol. He was a member oi ihe staff of Mr. R. M. Fink-
bine, the pioneer contractor, who built the new capitol at
Mr. Foster passed his early life here. He has been gone
many years, more than sixty. He located in Colorado
Springs long ago, and there owned what is now Sratton
Park, which was part of his ranch once upon a time.
He has been retired for years, after serving his adopted
state long after the Pikers Peak or Bust^' pilgrimage, in
which he joined. He was an able and popular member of
the legislature of Colorado, and was otherwise prominent.
His son and four daughters survive. Mr. W. E. C. Foster
of Iowa City is a brother.
Old time friends in Iowa City will mourn the good pio-
TWO IOWA PIONEERS
Matthew Cavanagh, Esquire, is the only survivor of those who came to
Johneon County in 1839. He is now in his 92nd year. He has lived longer in
18 Johnson County Old Settlers* Associatioyi
Johnson County continuously than any other living person. At our request he
has furnished for the Annual the following article reminiscent of the early
history of this county. — Editor.
In the early territorial days of Iowa, there lived in Iowa
City a man who became the first superintendent of public
instruction for the territory of Iowa. This man was James
Harlan, and he aftersvards attained great distinction as a
public man. He became senator, representing the State of
Iowa, in the United States senate and became a member at
one time of the Cabinet of President Lincoln.
Kobert T. Lincoln, son of President Lincoln, married the
daughter of Mr. Harlan.
The writer well remembers Mr. Harlan, who lived in a
small house on Dubuque Street, opposite the northwest
corner of the block now occupied by the State University
for hospital grounds.
Mr. Harlan would have his fire wood hauled up in sled
load lengths and would chop it up ready for use with his
ax. When he would get tired and wanted to rest, he would
sit down on a log, and would sometimes sit there for a long
time, apparently pondering and studying deeply some com-
plicated or troublesome subject, or it may be something
that was pleasant.
Mr. Harlan would at times go out into Cedar Township
where the wTiter then lived, and would give a lecture on
some subject in wiiich he was interested, and thought would
be of interest to the people. On these occasions Mr. Harlan
never failed to interest his audiences, particularly the
younger part of them, who always were sure to be present
Oilman Folsom was also a prominent man among the
early settlers of Johnson County. He was a native of New
Hampshire and was a graduate of Dartmouth College, the
same college from which Daniel Webster graduated. He
Johnson County Old Settlers' Association 19
was elected to the Iowa Legislature in its territorial days,
and was a conspicuous figure in the enactment of its laws.
Mr. Folsom early established a ferry across the Iowa
Eiver, at Iowa City, which was a very important thing for
Iowa City and vicinity. He engaged extensively in farming
and stock raising and was the owner of a large tract of land
adjoining Iowa City, on the west side of the river. This
land was entered from the government by Pleasant Arthur,
the father of Mrs. Folsom. All of the large tract of land,
recently taken over by the State University on the west side
of the river, is a part of this original entry.
Mr. Folsom was a man of very marked ability, as well as
of marked eccentricities. He was a very able law^^er and
was noted for his sarcastic thrusts.
He was a vtny cuu«iueidte and obliging neighbor, and
the following incident illustrates this trait. A tree on the
land of Mr. Folsom stood close to the line of the Byington
land and shaded the garden. Hearing that Mrs. Byington
had remarked that the tree shaded her garden, Mr. Folsom
went at once to the Byington home with his hired man and
said that the tree should be removed, and it was forthwith
cut down and removed. This illustrates some of the amen-
ities of pioneer life in Johnson County.
AN ODE TO IOWA
The following stanzas of poetry — an ode to Iowa and Johnson County —
were written by Mr. W. F. Murphy, a prominent attorney of Iowa City, who
has been a life long resident of Johnson County.
He has also composed musie for the ode and a choir of trained singers will
render the selection at the annual gathering of the Old Settlers at the City
Park on September 6, 1923.
We have no doubt that this will add a very enjoyable feature to our meeting
Printed copies of the ode will be distributed among those present and it is
20 Johyison County Old Settlers* Association
hoped that this may be made a permanent ode to be sung at the gatherings of
the old settlers of this county.
There is a land, a wondrous land, where God His richest
gifts hath given,
"Where all surroundings are disposed to change our
thoughts from earth to heaven;
Her glorious hills, her fertile plains, her sparkling streams
and forests grand,
In all the world are unsurpassed, it is to all a promisel land.
Oh, Iowa, Great Iowa, it is to Thee our voices raise —
Oh, may we all, with heart and soul, unite to sing Thy
In that broad land so good and kind, there is one spot of
A welcoming home to all who seek, from far and near, o'er
all the earth.
A gracious culture there prevails, an earthly prize beyond
And charm and grace of mind/^obtam with all abiding there.
Johnson County^ Johnson County, it is to Thee our voices
Oh, may we all, with heart and soul, unite to sing Thy
IOWA IN 1846
In the year 1846 Mrs. Charles W. Irish, who is still living,
made the trip with her family from North Carolina to the
far off State of Iowa. To give some idea of such a trip to
the present generation, we quote a brief description from
an article written by Mrs. Irish a number of years ago, de-
scribing the journey:
**0n the 18th of November, 1846, we arrived at our desti-
Johnson County Old Settlers^ Association 21
nation — a cabin home three miles east of Iowa City. There
were fifteen in our party and we made the long and arduous
trip in six weeks. We had only two teams and wagons ; of
course the prairie schooners were crowded and as the chil-
dren of those days were supposed never to weary we were
coaxed and cajoled into walking much of the way. I feel
sure that I did my full share of treking, and can yet feel the
blisters and stone bruises on my heels, when I recall that
pioneer journey. Bridges were scarce in those days, and
the greatest pleasure that came to us youngsters on the
trip, w^as that derived from crossing shallow streams on
foot-logs or by wading ; and finest of all when the water was
too deep for our childish limbs — being carried over on the
shoulders of our brother-in-law, James Hill.
••'vV'hen I jur»L saw Iowa, it was a vast expanse of brown
and blackened prairie, stre^vn thickly over w^ith the bones of
many animals that had been victims of prairie-fires that had
recently consumed them while burning the rank grasses of
*'The deep snows of that winter and the warm, gentle
rains of the following spring obliterated this gruesome
scene by scattering beautiful verdure and flowers over these
remains. The beauties of spring also dispelled my home-
sick longings for my old plantation home in the sunny
* * Corn and hominy were the chief articles of diet in those
first years of our pioneering in Iowa. The winter of ^46
was so cold that the water wheels of the little mill on the
Iowa were frozen up ; therefore, bread was a luxury to the
settlers. Corn sold for five cents a bushel. With this in-
expensive corn meal, we had for food the wild game and
fowls that were so abundant here in those days. Often the
wild fowls were so hungry that large flocks of them came to
the barnyards searching for food, and the farmers set traps
22 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
there and wliere wild turkeys roosted, catching them in
plenty. I have seen a dozen turkeys secured at one time in
the traps. In those days there was no need for anyone to
go hungry. ' '
JOHNSON COUNTY CENTENARIANS
Within the past few weeks two residents of this com-
munity have celebrated the one hundredth anniversary of
their birth. This is a noteworthy event.
Miss Charlotte Stone, who has long been a resident of
Iowa City, entertained her friends on the occasion of her
hundredth birthday anniversary. Although bed ridden for
several years, as the result of a fall, she has maintained her
eueeriui aiiiiude toward life, and attained a truly remark-
A few weeks later Mr. Anton Linder, one of the pioneers
of our county, celebrated his hundredth anniversary, sur-
rounded by his children, grand children, great grand chil-
dren and friends.
Several years ago at the annual meeting a committee was
appointed to search out the various important spots of
historical interest in Johnson County and report them to
the society to the end that proper action might be taken
looking to the marking of these spots.
With the passing of nearly all of the pioneers of the
county, these places will soon be simply a matter of tradi-
tion, and their locations wall not be accurately known.
It is a matter of regret that attention is not given to this
important matter and we would urge that speedy action be
taken by the association, in order that these items of his-
torical importance be preserved to future generations. The
committee has not reported.
Henry J. Wiexeke
Johyison Counfi/ Old Settlers' Association 23
HENRY J. WIENEKE
In the passing of Henry J. Wieneke the county has lost
one of its real pioneers. For more than forty years he was
the faithful secretary of the Old Settlers' Association, only
retiring shortly before his death and only at the imperative
demands of physical debility and suffering. He was a
familiar figure at the annual gatherings of the association
for nearly t^vo generations.
He was deeply interested in all of the activities of the
association and never spared time or effort in his devotion
to its upbuilding.
Henry Wieneke served his country faithfully as a soldier
of the Civil "VYar. Enlisting in 1861, he was sent with a
company against the hostile savages of the northwest,
where he fought gallantly throughout the campaign against
the painted tribes.
His service was notable in the campaign that drove the
Sioux tribes from that section of the country.
Throughout his long business career he was noted for his
rugged honesty and unimpeachable integrity.
He was an earnest and active member of the Lutheran
church and a good citizen in every sense of the word.
He will be missed and sincerely mourned by the entire
community, and will be especially missed by the remaining
old settlers, with whom he was so intimately associated.
When we gather this year at the City Park, we have no
doubt that Henry Wieneke will be there in spirit, and the
minds of all those attending will picture his familiar figure,
and sadly miss his handshake and greeting.
24 Johnson County Old Settlers' Association
J. D, BOWERSOCK
Since our last annual gathering Hon. J. D. Bowersock
has passed to the Great Bej'ond. His death occurred at
Lawrence, Kansas, of which city he has long been a resi-
dent, in October, 1922.
Mr. Bowersock was one of the well known pioneer resi-
dents of Johnson County. Eemoving to Lawrence, Kansas,
many years ago he became one of the wealthiest and most
influential residents of his adopted state. He was a man of
great public spirit and of broad views.
He served his state for several terms in Congress with
much distinction. Several years ago he arranged to attend
onr ?nr«"'."!'^^ TYioo+;-»n^ o-r.-^ renew his acquaintanceship with
the old settlers of this community, and to give the annual
address. But he was prevented from attending by illness.
Many of the pioneers, who are still surviving, will recall
Mr. Bowersock as one of the live merchants of Iowa City
five decades ago.
How many residents of this county can locate :
(a) The spot where the first Territorial Capitol stood
in Iowa City.
(b) The location of the first farm opened in Johnson
(c) Where the first trading house was located.
(d) The location of the first county seat.
(e) The first dam across the Iowa Eiver.
(f ) The first ferry operated in the county.
(g) The first grist mill to be operated.
(h) The location in Iowa City of the building in which
the present Constitution of Iowa was framed.
(i) The location of Camp Pope occupied by the soldiers
of the Civil War.
(j) Where in Iowa City the first State fair was held.
EEPORT OP NECROLOGIST
List of names of Old Settlers "who died during the year
from September 1, 1922, to September 1, 1923.
Henrj C. Bradley
Mrs. Hattie Hinkley 8 80
Daniel A. Dewey 85
Mrs. Catherine Strub 64
Mrs. Anna Grin del 89
Mrs. L. A. Alt 30
Frederick Dikel 3 84
Benjamin Hull 4
Garrett Wright 8 70
Mrs. Ella Murray Ashley
J. D. Bowersock 81
Mrs. Bernice Westfall 11
John Schaapvelt 67
Mrs. Elizabeth Strabley... 15
Mrs. John McQuiston 15
Edward Dvorsky 17 48
Arthur Anthony 17 43
Mrs. Petra 21
Mrs. Josephine Murphy 21
Mrs. J. Guzeman 2
Mrs. Hugh McCleary 2
Joseph Kehrer 7 27
Edwin Shrader 13 27
Mrs. Caroline Maske 15 83
Mrs. Mary Mahoney 17 87
Mrs. Jas. Ash 20 78
Robert Reese 21 64
Mrs. R. E. Freeman 22 42
Mrs. Lavina "Walker 1 79
Mrs, Ray Weldy
Herman Garrett 2 82
Chas. Sterret 10 42
Mrs. Jos. Glassman 12 80
Harry C. Smith 19 78
Ira J. Alder 20 78
Mrs. J. H. Bott 30
Will Carson 30
Mrs. Louisa King 3 94
Martin Panzer 7 81
Jas. Green 8
Mrs. Jas. Critz 9 81
Frank Brown 9 96
Mrs. Anna Cerhan 10 82
Mrs. Aaron Albright 11 48
Frank Shrader 12 64
Lucy Mannagh 12 70
Frank Dunkel 14 68
Mrs. Mary Huffman 14 74
Jas. Kasparek 14 74
Jacob Hadesh 17 89
Mrs. John Costello 18 86
Thos. B. Hughes 18 61
Margaret Watkins 21 62
26 Johnson Count i/ Old Settlers' Association
Mrs. Wm. Sass 23 7S
Daniel McCabe 25 64
Mrs. J. C. Wynn 26
Geo. Graef 29 79
Mrs. B. M. Oglevee 30 62
T. J. Bigg
Mrs. Agnes Slemmons 6
Mrs. M. C. Baker 6 78
Wm. Dennison 89
Mrs. Jos. Pauba 12 75
Henry Morrow 13 50
Emory Westcott 14 84
Gustavus D. Hinrichs 86
Mrs. Ed. Clinton
Mrs. Vannie B. Clark 68
"M"!^ Af^.-T' pV-V^ .IS
Henry J. Wieneke 18 85
Mrs. Geo. W. Johnston 76
Harry Strohmeyer 25
Patrick Eussell 26
Peter Meesz 76
Jolin Kutchera 28 39
Mary MeCleary 4 75
Adelaide Douglas Cochran.. 4
John Cericey 5
Wm. Huffman 6 71
Mrs. Roger Swire 6
J as. Lux 7
Mrs. Kate O'Meara 12
Frank Wyjack 12 76
C. S. Welch 16 74
Lydia McKray 16 77
Chas. Geisz 17 41
Mrs. Jos. Rinella 17
Guy Newcomb 18 63
Henry Karns 18 76
Mrs. Wm. Breese 21 57
Chas. Sherrer 21 43
Ann G. Hughes 21 71
Wm. Strong 2S 64
Chas. Brandstetter 29 63
Mrs. Emma Wolfe 1
Mrs. Jos. Pisarik 3 44
J. C. Wical 6 59
Mrs. Ora C. Hoffman 10 56
Mrs. Frances Anciaux 10 59
Henry Schmidt 15
W. J. Yogt
Mrs. Anton Vesely
Mrs. Geo. Cleveland 81
Spear T. Harman 71
Mrs. Margaret Davis 15 86
Lillian Ochs 15 56
Mrs. Mattie Conn 80
Mrs. M. Dwyer 18 83
Mrs. Frank Slavata 18 63
Mrs. Julius Haberstroh. . . . 19
Miss Laura Barnes 20 68
August B. Nelson 20 63
Mrs. Ida Sehnoebelen 21 31
Lee Blakesley 22
David O'Connell 22 80
Dennis Mahoney 23 74
John J. Hatch 26 77
George Konvalinka 29 50
Mrs. Robert Adams 29 62
Jane Westcott 2 90
Mrs. Wm. Seamark 3 78
Mrs. Louis Lyou 13
Mrs. Orville Snow 13 27
.Tos. J. Beranek 18 68
Mrs. John Eggenberg 19 60
Mrs. Anna Hibl 21 90
Louis Eppel 23 48
Chas. Hadesh 24
Brewster Gardner 1 65